MORGANTOWN — Two major pieces to WVU’s offense in 2021 announced their intent to play somewhere else and enter the NCAA Transfer Portal.
Wide receiver Winston Wright and quarterback Jarret Doege each posted to their Twitter accounts New Year’s Eve they have played their final game with the Mountaineers, coming off a 6-7 season and loss in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl to Minnesota last week.
Wright, who led the team in receptions and receiving yards — 63 catches, 688 yards and five touchdowns — was also the team’s leading kick returner.
Wright spent the last three years at WVU, accumulating 1,338 yards and seven touchdowns on 129 catches. The Georgia native has two years of eligibility remaining.
“These last three years have been the best moments of my life,” Wright tweeted.
“I want to thank coach (Gerad) Parker, coach (Neal) Brown, coach Mike (Joseph) and the whole WVU football staff for the opportunity to play at this great university.”
With Wright’s departure, there are only four scholarship wide receivers on the roster, Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Kaden Prather, Sam James and Reese Smith. However, Alabama native Jarel Williams is signed as part of the class of 2022, and JUCO All-American Jeremiah Aaron is also on board. Aaron will also likely be the punt and kick returner.
Wide receiver Sean Ryan also announced he is not using his extra year of eligibility granted due to COVID-19 at WVU, and Isaiah Esdale announced his intent to transfer in early December.
Doege, who started the last 26 games at QB, threw for 3,048 yards with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season. In his WVU career, he threw 40 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, and his 6,453 passing yards are 5th all-time in program history.
Much maligned during his career, Doege wants to use his free year elsewhere.
“I will forever be grateful for the friendships and memories I’ve made at WVU over the past three years,” Doege tweeted. “Thank you to the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to live out a lifelong dream of mine. West Virginia will always have a special place in my heart. I am excited about the future and will be looking for a new home for the 2022 season.”
Garrett Greene played limited snaps this season as the backup, while Goose Crowder only played in the Long Island game as a true freshman. They are the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, but highly-touted signee Nicco Marchiol is expected to enroll for the spring semester and compete in spring camp.
Once Wright and Doege are officially in the portal, 14 scholarship football players have entered since the start of the season in early September.
The Mountaineers will also likely use the transfer portal to their advantage to bring in a WR and QB.
Chandler-Semedo announces comeback
Just a month after saying his college career was going to be done following this season, linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo announced he is going to use his extra year of eligibility and return for another season in 2022.
“These last few years in Morgantown have been a memorable experience,” he tweeted. “The fans, the culture and the tradition at West Virginia is like no other. Since I was a kid, I have dreamed of playing at the next level and having the opportunity to provide for my family and set the foundation for the youth to follow. I have been blessed to have a great career at West Virginia, which has allowed me to be in position to have an opportunity to play at the next level and pursue my dreams. I am extremely grateful for that.
“However, there is still unfinished business, with that being said I am returning to play my senior year. In pursuit of closing this chapter with one more Country Road!”
Chandler-Semedo led the Mountaineers in tackles this year wirh 110 stops, including a team-high 68 solo.